If you saw Sean Jump, you’d think he didn’t have a care in the world. He smiles when he speaks and has a playful, happy voice. But Sean’s journey has been anything but carefree. He is on disability and unable to work. Each month, he finds himself short of meeting his living expenses.
Sean learned about The Caring Place a few years ago and received help with supplemental groceries. About once a month, he visits The Caring Place to shop for non-perishables and fresh produce in our Food Pantry. It gets him through the month. “If I didn’t get food from The Caring Place Food Pantry, I’d have to fast a whole week out of the month to make the food last,” he said. Fortunately, because of donations from the community, The Caring Place Food Pantry is able to provide supplemental food to families.
Sean finds basic staples at The Food Pantry including the easy to chew foods he needs. Sean underwent 13 surgeries on his left ear; six to remove cancer and seven for reconstruction. Because of the harsh effects of radiation, Sean’s teeth had to be extracted. “It was so hard to eat,” Sean said.
“I felt like Job from the Bible,” he said. Sean had also lost the hearing in his left ear. The uncertainty about the cancer, the surgeries, and then the loss of his teeth left Sean feeling depressed and alone, but not defeated. “I kept praying every day and reading the Bible.
“I learned how to talk and eat some foods without teeth,” he said. Yet, Sean could no longer eat many of the foods that required biting or chewing. Fortunately, he found a selection of soft foods in The Caring Place Food Pantry. “We serve many clients who have teeth missing and can only eat soft foods,” said Food Pantry volunteer, Pet Clark.
The generosity of people who donate to The Caring Place, also made it possible for Sean to receive upper and lower dentures, just in time for the holidays! “I am so thankful to The Caring Place,” he said. “I can chew food now. I can take a bite out of a sandwich. I can chew meat and vegetables I couldn’t eat before.
Sean also learned that the surgeon was able to remove all of the cancer. And with the dentures, he can eat nearly anything. “And I can smile at my girlfriend now,” he said.